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Hector Babenco is a Brazilian director, scriptwriter, producer, actor. He was born in 1946 in Buenos Aires (Argentina). His father was a Ukrainian émigré, his mother was Polish Jew. At eighteen, thrilled by the Beatnik ideology and the existential philosophy, Babenco decided to travel all over the world and for seven years he journeyed through Africa, Europe and Northern America doing odd jobs. For a time he even worked as an extra on Italian spaghetti Westerns. In 1971 he settled down in Brazil, where he took an interest in cinema and decided to become a film director. Unfortunately it was the very year that the ruling military junta introduced severe film censorship. Babenco studied film art making documentaries, shorts and advertisements. In 1975 his first feature «O rei da noite» was released. «Lucio Flavio», (1978) his second thriller based on the life of a real bank robber caused an uproar because it offered no way of telling who was a bad guy and who was a good guy. Nevertheless it was one of the most successful Brazilian movies in terms of the box-office, it was viewed by 5.4 mln. people.

Babenco became internationally known after “Pixote - The Survival of the Weakest” about homeless children. The movie was almost a documentary using improvisations by real homeless children. “Pixote” was named the best foreign movie by the film critics associations of New York and Los Angeles. Babenco’s first American movie «Kiss of the Spider Woman», 1985 won an Oscar for the leading actor William Hurt. Although Babenco continues to shoot movies in the USA from time to time, for example “Ironweed” 1987 with Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Tom Waits, he believes that nowadays Brazil offers more creative freedom. His latest movie “El Pasado” was shot in 2007.



Sergei Loban was born in Moscow in 1972. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics. In 1995 he set up and underground club in an abandoned landing stage on the bank of the Moskva river and for two years it was the center of non-formal culture. He worked as a director for the channel ORT (program “ under 16 and older”). At that time he got to know the participants of the counter-cultural movement “zAiBi” (“for Anonymous and Free Art”) Marina Potapova and Dmitri Model. Together with his “zAiBi” friends he set up the movement “SVOI2000”. In 2001 he shot the film “It happened to a Guy” commissioned by the Byelorussian newspaper “Navinki”. It was written by one of the leaders of the  Byelorussian underground Lyosha Chikanos. The budget of the film “It happened to a Guy” amounted to one thousand dollars and it won the Grand Prix at the Moscow festival “To Love Cinema”. In 2002 he directed the short “Suck the Banana”.

In 2005 he directed the ultra-low budget fantastic drama “Dust”, which was well received by the audience and won several prizes including the first diploma of the jury of Russian film critics at the 28th Moscow International Film Festival. The same year he started work at the movie “Shapito-Show” which went on for six years and was completed in 2011. The film consisting of four novels “Love”, “Friendship”, “Respect” and “Cooperation” was a sensation of Russian art-stream, participated in the competition of the 33rd MIFF and won a special jury prize. In 2011 he co-wrote the documentary about Pyotr Mamonov with whom he cooperated on his two previous films. The film became known as “Mamon-Loban”.



Jean-Marc Barr, an actor, director, scriptwriter and producer, was born on the 27th of September 1960 in the German city of Bitburg near the border with Luxembourg in the family of a French woman and an American pilot who had fought in the Second World War. The borderline, international quality characterizes not only to Jean-Marc’s origins and birthplace but his bilingual education as well. Barr studied philosophy in UCLA and the Sorbonne, drama art in the Paris Conservatoire and later in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

In 1986 Barr moved to France and began his career as a stage actor, at the same time taking part in TV and film projects including the war drama “Hope and Glory”, 1987 by John Boorman. Luc Besson’s “Le Grand Bleu” was released in 1988 and one of its two versions was an enormous success in France. The role of the free diver Jacques Mayol who dives to record depths on a bet with his friend, searches for even greater depths and escapes from the over-the-water world into the underwater world, was equally successful and brought him a Cesar nomination for the best male part of 1989.

Lars von Trier's “Europa” 1991 which won three awards in Cannes including the Prize of the Jury, opened up different creative possibilities for Barr and started the long and fruitful cooperation with the Danish director. The role of Leopold Kessler in the hypnotic drama about post-war Germany, who faces the inevitable choice between life, death and love, will be followed by parts in «Breaking the Waves», 1996, «Dancer in the Dark», 2000, «Dogville», 2003, «Manderlay»,  2005 and «The Boss of It All», 2006.

In 1999 under the influence of Trier’s “Dogma-95” and in collaboration with Pascal Arnold Barr begins shooting his own “Trilogy of Freedom”. Three novellas – the alcove story “Lovers”, the dramatic “Too much Flesh”, 2000 and the comedic “Being Light” 2001 parodied European intellectuals with a melancholy apologia of freedom which according to the author’s conception resides in the elusive boundaries between Love, Sex and Spirit.

The most notable works of the past few years are the part of a lovable young lawyer Maitre Bertram in James Ivory’s comedy melodrama “Le Divorce” 2003 and the part of the killer Hugo in Olivier Megaton’s thriller “The Red Siren” 2002.

The 33rd MIFF hosted the premiere of Jean-Marc Barr’s latest work as a director, cameraman and actor, the thriller “American Translation” 2011, which he co-directed with Pascal Arnold. A tempestuous love story with a touch of mystical propensity for murder, the poetry of the road and the rhetoric of misunderstanding in the process of overcoming the French-English language barrier justly aroused the interest of the audience.

Barr’s latest work in cinema will probably be a prominent milestone. It is the role of Jack Kerouac in Michael Polish’s movie “Big Sur”, released this year and based on the autobiographical novel (1962) of the American writer and poet. The author of the once popular novel “On the Road” (1951-1957) which was the road-book if not the bible of the whole beat-generation worn out by drugs and alcohol, he tries to escape from both culture and counter-culture going back to the 1960s for short-term search for the meaning of life in a sparsely populated area of California. It is not known if he managed to find the meaning of life in the hut on the Pacific coast, somewhere on the fringes of the inhabited world. But for a time the protagonist’s despair gives way to flashes of optimism and spiritual peace…



International distributor, producer. Adriana Chiesa Di Palma began her career as director of sales and acquisitions of the then leading Italian film distribution and production company, Medusa Distribuzione. She acquired and distributed for Italy over one hundred feature films, among which Milos Forman’s AMADEUS, Bergman’s CRIES AND WHISPERS, and all-time box office hits such as RAMBO.

In 1990 she created her own company, Adriana Chiesa Enterprises srl (ACE). Since its inception, the company has presented films by such directors as Carlos Saura, Akira Kurosawa, Giuseppe Tornatore, Mario Monicelli, Ettore Scola, Lina Wertmueller and many other great filmmakers. Yet ACE’s production line-up has also reflected an equally determined commitment to new emerging talent and creativity.

Totally dedicated to the circulation and promotion of European quality cinema, ACE today offers an impressive library of over 300 titles of award winning quality features, documentaries and animation, and a catalogue of restored library films from legendary cult to classic. Thanks to the company’s professional approach, solid world-wide experience and relations, and multilingual and multi-cultural emphasis, ACE boasts a truly international profile. The company’s activities now extend to film acquisitions, co-productions and project development. ACE co-produced the new film by Roberta Torre selected for the Venice Film Festival 2010.

Adriana Chiesa Di Palma, married to the cinematographer the late Carlo Di Palma, was Italian producer and translator of the Broadway hit DEATH DEFYING ACTS by Woody Allen, David Mamet and Elaine May, and the play by Woody Allen, WRITER’S BLOCK. She is President of ACE, Vice President of EFEA, the recipient of many awards, and has been a jury member of international film festivals.

Adriana Chiesa Di Palma has been on the EFA (European Film Academy) Board since 2000.



Born in 1972 in Sofia, Javor Gardev is a Bulgarian stage and film director. He graduated in philosophy from the University of Sofia in 1997 and took a master’s degree from the Krastyo Sarafov National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in 1998. Since 1994 he has put on the stage over 30 works both in Bulgaria and abroad including Russia. Also, he has directed a number of video and radio shows. Some of the performances he organised and led were presented in contemporary-art galleries in Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg, and Stuttgart. Among his stage productions are "The Maids" by Jean Genet (1994), "Tanya-Tanya" by Olya Mouchina (1996), “Quartet” by Heiner Müller (1999), "Russian People's Post" by Oleg Bogayev (1999), “Bastard” after William Shakespeare, Friedrich Durenmatt and Adso of Montier-an-Der (2001), “Marat/Sade” after Peter Weiss (2003), “The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh (2004), “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare (2004), “King Lear” by William Shakespeare (2006), “Krum” by Hanoch Levin (2006), “The Old Woman from Calcutta” by Hanoch Levin (2007), “Valentine’s Day” by Ivan Vyrypaev (2008), and “Cancun” by Jordi Galceran (2012). Javor Gardev wrote quite a number of papers on philosophy, aesthetics, and art. He became internationally known after his neo-noir directorial debut “Zift” (2007). The film won the Silver George award for the best direction at the 30st Moscow International Film Festival. Dubbed by critics as a “postmodern ragout”, it has turned out an unequivocal box-office hit in the last 25 years in Bulgaria.




Director, scriptwriter, producer. Born in Kazan. Graduated from the Kazan University as a philologist. Was a teacher at a village school, later a reporter in republican newspapers. In 1989 Marina Razbezhkina started writing and shooting documentaries. She wrote and directed more than 40 non-live-action films which participated in competition at the festivals IDFA (Amsterdam), “Prix Europe”( Berlin), “Message to Man” (St.Petersburg), “Vila do Conde” (Portugal), “Drama” (Greece) and many others. Razbezhkina’s documentaries include “Storm has set the heavens scowling” (1990), “House” (1990), “Love Him in Your Heart” (1990), “Dancing Hall” (1990), “The End of the Journey” (1991), “Listeners’ Choice Concert” (1991), “Assumption” (1991), “A Man Plays the Trumpet” (1994), “Strange Freedom of Being” (1995), “Heirs of Paradise” (1997), “Slavonic Dances” (1999), “I Feel It Is Time to Say Good-Bye” (2000), “Gennady Aigy” (2001), “Life Is a Boot without a Pair” (2001), “Underground” (2001), “Desire to Sing” (2001), “Just Life” (2002), “Looking Ground” (2002), “The Story of my Family” (2003), “A Foreign Country” (2004), “Vacation” (2005), “The Weather Is Fine” (2010), “People Deer Bogs” (2011).

In 2004 Razbezhkina made her first feature film “Harvest Time” which won the FIPRESCI Prize at the MIFF in 2004. This film was screened at more than 50 international festivals and won prizes in Chicago, Thessaloniki, Taipei, Jeonju and many other festivals. It was nominated for the Fassbinder Award of the European Film Academy. 2007 saw the release of the second live-action movie “Ravine”.

For the past 7 years Marina Razbezhkina has headed the School of Documentary Film and Documentary Theatre, which she founded together with Mikhail Ugarov. This is a unique educational project which arouses a lot of interest in film school in Europe and the USA. Films by the School graduates invariably participate in Russian and international festivals.

In 2005 Marina Razbezhkina became an active member of the European Film Academy. She is a member of the Film Union of Russia, an academician of the Russian Academy of Film Art “Nika”. Lives in Moscow.



An immigrant to the Bay Area from Argentina 30 years ago, Sylvia Perel distinguished herself as a visionary woman from the very beginning. Sylvia received a degree in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires where she went on to teach art and film history. In 1997, Sylvia founded the International Latino Film Festival – San Francisco Bay Area to give voice to Latino cultural expression through the powerful medium of film. The Festival has been a major event on the global film calendar. Her programming made possible for audiences from San Francisco, San Jose, to Berkeley, Redwood City, Sacramento and San Rafael and Larkspur in Marin County to be acquainted with fresh, meaningful, non-stereotypical view of the Latino experience, with focuses on Women in Film, the Immigrant Experience, the Jewish Experience in Latin America , Human Rights Series. CinePride a LGTB film program among others. She has created opportunities for the promotion and acknowledgement of Latino films and filmmakers and to generate career opportunities for Bay Area young people in the film and film festival industries. She has been the Artistic Director for programming of the Int’l Latino Film Festival in Redwood City, California. She continued her work in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico where since 2004 the festival she founded has brought the best of Latin America films with focus on Mexican films artists and directors. The Festival has grown to become the largest event in Baja California Sur dedicated to the dissemination of high quality Latino films in Todos Santos and La Paz. With her firm belief in the inspirational power of film, Sylvia has created groundbreaking educational programs.  She started in 1998 the award-winning “Youth in Video” program, where minority and at-risk youth learn the art of filmmaking, digital technology, and are encouraged to pursue higher education. Hundreds of disadvantaged Latino youth in the Bay Area, Mexico and Buenos Aires, have studied the art of filmmaking with distinguish filmmakers. The result is over 50 films, many of them internationally awarded. 

She curates Latino programs for major international festivals including the Festival Latinoamericano di Trieste (Italy), and the Territorio Latinoamericano program for the prestigious Festival de Málaga (Spain). She also curates and lectures on Latino Film at a number of Universities and Colleagues . She is a curator, lecturer and educator in Latino films and she has received numerous awards and official recognitions including Certificates of Recognition from the California State Assembly, the United States Congress, the Channel 7ABC Latino of the Year Award and the KQED- PBS Latino Hero Award  among others. Sylvia’s passion and commitment has advance the presence of Latinos in the world of filmmaking, Sylvia has transformed the lives of many in the San Francisco Bay Area and Todos Santos, Mexico and beyond with her tireless work and creative vision.  She lives in San Francisco , California and Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico. 



The Kazakhstan film director and screenwriter Darezhan Omirbayev was born in 1958. His first feature film KAIRAT (1991) won Silver Leopard Award in Locarno and his following feature films continued his success. His films have been screened at International Film Festivals at  Venice, Karlowy Vary and Singapore. With his film TUER A GAGES/KILLER he won in 1998 the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes Film Festival. His last film STUDENT (Cannes, 2012, Certain Regard) is free adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. 


Vladimir Evaldovich Eisner

Born December 2nd, 1955 in Perm. Eisner graduated with a diploma in directing from VGIK in 1985 (Vermisheva's master-class). Worked as a director at the Eastern Siberian Film Archive studio in Irkutsk. Since 1994 he has been working as a director at Asia-film studio in Novosibirsk.In 1986 Eisner won the Grand-prix – the Silver Dragon in Krakow for his film «Seven Simeons». He had won numerous prizes, including a Golden Dove in Leipzig, Grand-prix in Paris, prizes in Spain and Japan for his film «Once Upon a Time There Were Seven Simeons.” Winner of multiple prizes in Russia (“Zolotoy Vityaz”) and abroad, including at festivals in Clairmont-Ferrand (France), Oberhausen (Germany), Neon (Switzerland).In 1994 Vladimir Eisner created one of the first independent film studios in the former USSR – Asia-film, which exists to this day. In 2000, Eisner was awarded the State Award of the Russian Federation in Literature and Arts. In 2006 Vladimir Evaldovich became an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation.


Pawel Pawlikowski

Born in 1957 in Warsaw. At age 14 he left Poland, eventually immigrating to England. He currently works and lives in Paris.Pawlikowski is well-known for the lyricism and irony present in his documentary works. He received the prestigious Emmy award for his film “From Moscow to Pietushki”, based on the work by Venedict Erofeev. His film “Dostoevsky’s Travels”, whose main character is the only surviving descendant of Dostoevsky, a tram driver in St. Petersburg, had received many international awards. Pawlikowski had also won the Grierson Prize for his film about Zhirinovsky in 1995. In 1998 Pawlikowski started to work on feature films.  In 2005 his film “My Summer of Love” earned him a BAFTA award (A. Korda Award for Best British Film), as well as many other awards and nominations. From 2004 to 2007 he was a Creative Arts Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, where he did research in realist genre in contemporary British cinema.

Jon Alpert

Born in 1948, Alpert is an American journalist and documentary filmmaker, who is well-known for his use of the cinema-verite style. He has worked with NBC, PBS and HBO. During his career, Alpert has won 15 Emmy awards, and was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Documentary Short Subject” for his film “China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”. He worked as a journalist in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Cuba, China and Afghanistan. He is one of the few Americans who filmed Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein numerous times.

In 1991, while employed by NBC, Alpert was the first American journalist to bring back uncensored video footage from the first Persian Gulf War. The footage was cancelled three hours before it was supposed to be aired, and Alpert was simultaneously fired. During his career, Alpert has made numerous films on socially important subjects. He was one of the few people who filmed the rescue work during the first night after the September 11th, 2001 attacks in New York, gained unprecedented access to the 86th Combat Support Hospital, the US Army's premiere medical center in Iraq, filmed the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake in China.

In 1972 Alpert founded the Downtown Community Television Center – one of the first community media centers in the US. The New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) called DCTV «the standard by which all other media centers are measured».